Aerosol- and moonsoon-related droughts and floods are two of the most serious environmental hazards confronting more than 60% of the population of the world living in the Asian monsoon countries. In recent years, thanks to improved satellite and in situ observations, and better models, great strides have been made in aerosol and monsoon research, respectively. There is now a growing body of evidence suggesting that interaction of aerosol forcing with monsoon dynamics may alter the redistribution of energy in the atmosphere and at the Earth s surface, thereby influencing monsoon water cycle and climate. In this article, the authors describe the scientific rationale and challenges for an integrated approach to study the interactions between aerosol and monsoon water cycle dynamics. A Joint Aerosol-Monsoon Experiment (JAMEX) is proposed for 2007–11, with enhanced observations of the physical and chemical properties, sources and sinks, and long-range transport of aerosols, in conjunction with meteorological and oceanographic observations in the Indo-Pacific continental and oceanic regions. JAMEX will leverage on coordination among many ongoing and planned national research programs on aerosols and monsoons in China, India, Japan, Nepal, Italy, and the United States, as well as international research programs of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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Footnotes

Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Center for Clouds, Chemistry and Climate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of San Diego, Lajolla, California

State Key Laboratory for Atmosphere Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

New Delhi, India

Laboratory for Hydrosphere, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Water Research Institute, National Research Council, Milan, and Ev-K2-CNR Committee, Bergamo, Italy

CEOP International Project Office, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

School of Atmospheric Science, University of Lanzhou, Lanzhou, China

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China